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Art. 15. Their concept.

Alternative circumstances are those which must be taken into consideration as aggravating or mitigating according to the nature and effects of the crime and the other conditions attending its commission. They are the relationship, intoxication and the degree of instruction and education of the offender. The alternative circumstance of relationship shall be taken into consideration when the offended party in the spouse, ascendant, descendant, legitimate, natural, or adopted brother or sister, or relative by affinity in the same degrees of the offender. The intoxication of the offender shall be taken into consideration as a mitigating circumstances when the offender has committed a felony in a state of intoxication, if the same is not habitual or subsequent to the plan to commit said felony but when the intoxication is habitual or intentional, it shall be considered as an aggravating circumstance. Alternative circumstances 1. Relationship o Shall be taken into consideration when offended party is the Spouse Ascendant/descendant (stepmother/stepfather/stepson/stepdaughter, adopter + adoptee included here) Legitimate/natural/adopted sibling Relative by affinity in the same degree of the offender Uncle + niece NOT covered o Relationship is mitigating in crimes against property (robbery, usurpation, fraudulent insolvency, arson) o Only civil liability shall result from theft, swindling or malicious mischief caused mutually by spouses, ascendants/descendants, relatives by affinity in the same line, siblings and siblings in law IF LIVING TOGETHER o Relationship is exempting in theft, swindling/estafa, malicious mischief o Relationship is aggravating in crimes against persons in cases where the offended party is a relative of a higher 2.

than or equal degree as the offender (killing a halfbrother, killing a brother) o Killing a brother-in law: aggravating or not? Except when accused admits that the victim is his brother-in-law, relationship by affinity is presumed not to aggravate the crime unless sufficient evidence is shown. o Physical injuries Serious physical injuries: aggravating Slight physical injuries: mitigating if victim is relative of lower degree than accused, aggravating if higher degree o Relationship is mitigating in trespass to dwelling o Relationship is neither mitigating nor aggravating when relationship is an element of the offense (parricide, adultery, concubinage) o Relationship is always aggravating in crimes against chastity (lasciviousness, rape) WHY? Note the nature and effect of the crimes! Not shocking to hear of father injuring daughter, but very shocking to hear of father raping daughter. Intoxication o Mitigating if accidental (not habitual nor intentional, not subsequent to the plan to commit the crime) o Aggravating if habitual or intentional Habitual drunkard: one given to intoxication by use of intoxicating drinks habit must be ACTUAL and CONFIRMED Not necessary that it is continuous or a daily occurrence Intentional drunkenness: Before killing B, A drank a glass of wine. When he was drunk, A killed B. o Offender's mental faculties MUST be affected by drunkenness Must diminish the agent's capacity to know the injustice of his acts and his will to act accordingly The amount of wine taken must be of such quantity as to blur the offender's reason and deprive him of self-control o Proper evidence must be shown for intoxication to be aggravating

o Accused's state of intoxication must be proved to


determine whether it is aggravating or mitigating o Why is intoxication an alternative circumstance? Intoxication, mitigating: will power is impaired under the influence of liquor Intoxication, aggravating Intentional: the offender resorted to it to be courageous enough to commit a crime Habitual: constant use of intoxicating liquor lessens individual resistance to evil thoughts and undermines will power, making him a potential evildoer against whom society has the right to penalize o Intoxication is presumed accidental unless proven otherwise o Non-habitual intoxication, lack of instruction and obfuscation are not to be taken separately Nonhabitual intoxication = disturbance of offender's reasoning, therefore lack of instruction will not have any influence over him Obfuscation has the same effect as nonhabitual intoxication Degree of instruction and education of the offender o Generally mitigating: low degree or lack of instruction and education Illiteracy To invoke the benefit of illiteracy as an alternative circumstance of lack of instruction, lack of sufficient intelligence must also be considered Just because you cannot read/write does not mean you cannot understand what you are doing o Exceptions: lack of instruction is not mitigating in Crimes against property (estafa, theft, robbery, arson) Crimes against chastity (rape, adultery) No one is so ignorant as not to know that rape is wrong Murder

To kill is forbidden by natural law which every rational being is supposed to know and feel Exception: Premeditated murder, but the accused were "ignorant people living in a barrio almost 20 KM away from civilization" (People v Mantala) Lack of instruction must be proven by the defense Lack of instruction must be first raised in trial court. It cannot be raised for the first time in appellate court Treason Not mitigating, love for country should be a natural feeling of every citizen, regardless of education Mitigating in other cases, if the accused's schooling is extremely confined Aggravating: high degree of instruction and education, when offender uses his learning to commit a crime Example: a lawyer commits estafa, a doctor uses poison to kill his victim in order to avoid detection Exception: education as a lawyer does not aggravate physical injuries (so long as you don't use that education to physically injure someone)